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July 29, 2022

US approves $8.4bn sale of F-35 aircraft and munitions to Germany

The F-35 fighter jets will gradually replace Germany’s ageing fleet of Panavia Tornado combat aircraft.

The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of an $8.4bn potential foreign military sale (FMS) of F-35 fighter aircraft and munitions to Germany.

The FMS also includes related equipment and has been approved by the US State Department.

As part of this deal, Germany has requested to purchase 35 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) aircraft and 37 Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines, including 35 installed units and two as spares.

The munitions requested include 105 AIM-120C-8 advanced medium range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM), four AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM guidance sections, 75 AGM-158B/B2 joint air-to-surface standoff missiles-extended range (JASSM-ER), and two AGM-158 inert JASSMs with test instrumentation kits.

The deal includes two AGM-158 JASSM separation test vehicles (STV), 344 GBU-53 small diameter bombs (SDB-II), three GBU-53 SDB-II guided test vehicles (GTV), eight GBU-53 SDB-II captive carry reliability trainers (CCRT), 162 BLU-109 2000LB hardened penetrator bombs for GBU-31, among other weapons.

The FMS also comprises 75 AIM-9X Block II+ tactical sidewinder missiles, 30 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder captive air training missiles (CATM), 15 tactical AIM-9X Block II+ Sidewinder guidance control units and five AIM-9X Block II sidewinder CATM guidance units.

The related materials include identification friend-or-foe (IFF) equipment, spare and repair parts, electronic warfare systems, reprogramming lab support, personnel training and repair and return support.

In a statement, the DSCA said: “The proposed sale will improve Germany’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing a suitable replacement for retiring Tornado aircraft fleet in support of Nato’s nuclear sharing mission, the centrepiece for deterrence in Europe.”

Prime contractors of this FMS are Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Texas The Boeing Company, Missouri, Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Arizona and Pratt & Whitney Military Engines.

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